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For years, finding the smallest metal contaminants has been a challenge for many bakery, meat, poultry, seafood, ready meal and dairy food producers due to a phenomenon known as 'product effect'. Product effect (where a product's own characteristics inhibit a metal detector's ability to inspect products with a high moisture or salt content, variable temperature, or packed in metallised film) has reduced detection sensitivities significantly below the levels achieved when inspecting dry non-conductive food products.

Using a sophisticated inspection algorithm, Mettler-Toledo's Profile Advantage metal detector all but removes product effect from the process. The result is up to fifty per cent improvements in spherical sensitivity levels, compared to conventional metal detectors, enabling significantly smaller metal contaminants to be detected in products that are wet, hot, chilled, cooling or packaged in metallised film.

Central to the Multi Simultaneous Frequency (MSF) technology of the Profile Advantage is the '3S' algorithm and its Product Signal Suppression feature. Unlike conventional metal detectors which simply capture and store the active product signal, the Profile Advantage modifies the signal during setup so that the food product presents itself as if it were a dry product without product effect. As such, the detector is an extremely valuable tool for inspecting meat, dairy and bakery products that contain a high degree of moisture - a factor that triggers many false rejects in conventional metal detectors.

Traditionally the solution to this problem has been to set the sensitivity of the metal detector lower to eliminate false rejects, thereby limiting its ability to detect all contaminants. By suppressing those false signals, the Profile Advantage inspects products at full sensitivity, ensuring more effective inspection and maximising product safety. Meat and poultry producers, for example, typically see false reject rates associated with product effect reduced by up to ninety five per cent when trying to detect the smallest metal contaminants.

The Product Signal Suppression feature is not only able to cope with challenging applications of wet, moist, high salt content products or those that are in a state of flux cooling or thawing, but also with products packaged in metallised film. This packaging type has traditionally made it more difficult for detectors to compete with other types of technology on performance. However, with MSF technology, the Profile Advantage can meet or exceed factory inspection standards on all metal types and delivers considerably higher performance when detecting aluminium contaminants.

With recent changes to retailer Codes of Practice and more stringent standards being applied across the food industry by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), manufacturers are looking for ways to remove metal contaminants as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. By enabling fewer incorrect product rejects and less operational downtime investigating issues, the Profile Advantage allows significant cost savings to be realised. In addition, for food producers keen on monitoring Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), the detector maintains an attractive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for metal inspection compared to other technology offerings.

“Conquering the ‘product effect’ phenomenon has been a key issue for our industry for some time,” explains Mike Bradley, Head of Sales at Mettler-Toledo Safeline Metal Detection. “Our Profile Advantage system is a major technological breakthrough in metal detection capability as it helps manufacturers increase brand protection, reduce costs and improve productivity. Consequently, the system supports food companies to produce only contaminant-free product in their manufacturing facility. Combining this reliable performance with an overall low Total Cost of Ownership calculation enables metal detection to become the preferred technology choice.”

In addition to enhanced sensitivity, the metal detector also comes with built-in Condition Monitoring as standard. By continually analysing the detector's performance, Condition Monitoring provides advance warning of potential problems, enabling maintenance to take place during scheduled downtime, maximising productivity and uptime. On-board OEE reporting is also included with every Profile Advantage metal detector.

For manufacturers of products with stringent hygiene requirements, the Profile Advantage encompasses a robust, hygienic design, in accordance with European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) standards. Stainless steel casing and a choice of sealing standards (IP65/IP69K) ensure the system is capable of withstanding even the harshest washdown regimes, while curved edges and corners eliminate potential dirt traps, minimising the risk of biological contamination of food. Furthermore, the metal detector is also available with optional bespoke conveyors, enabling manufacturers to customise the system to their individual production needs. 

 

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